Doctor Sleep is in theaters now. This continuation of The Shining story attempts to merge Stephen King’s version of his story with Stanley Kubrick’s movie. The movie is long as it brings viewers up to speed with what happened during the first movie while setting up the stage for this movie. I thought Mike Flanagan did an excellent job directing this film so when I sat down with him at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado I knew we were in for a fun conversation.
First, off he struck the lottery casting Carl Lumbly as the new Dick Hallorann because it truly like you’re being haunted by the ghost of Scatman Crothers. Mike revealed that he didn’t know it would be that good, but when Carl walked on set in character he knew it was a home run. “The first time I met him, he hadn’t shaved his head yet, and we were talking about the character and Statman Crothers. We were really digging into that relationship and the first day I saw him show up in wardrobe it was uncanny. It was like seeing a ghost.”
During our chat, Mike explained how nerve-racking it was sending his script to one of his idols, Stephen King. Partly because if King would have said no, it would have killed the movie and Mike really wanted to make this film. Throw in that while Stephen was half way done reading his version of the script, when he had to pause to go attend his son Joe’s wedding so it caused a delay in the process. Mike explains why saying, “Everything that going to potentially upset him was all in the second half of the film. Luckily it all worked out.”
Lastly, I mentioned how Stephen King has a reputation for creating “Magical Negro” characters and Mike explained why this isn’t another one of those scenarios. “In the book, Abra is white, but when I say Kyleigh’s performance on the tape, I said I’ve never seen an actor who is more perfectly suited to a role. I thought in particular because Abra is such a powerful character, I didn’t see her as magical, so much as just incredibly strong, gifted and an underdog in just an amazing way in this story. I thought Kyleigh had the chance to be a real hero to girls and I was really excited for people to see her in this role.”